Nature has the innate ability to sustain itself. Inherent in the ecosystems we know about is the built in ability to ensure its own survival. Sustainability is a word describing the ability of natural systems and processes to endure biological, environmental, and societal changes. The science of sustainability is all about combining the impact of politics and the will of society with environmental science. Ultimately, the goal of sustainability is to produce processes, systems, and mechanical/electrical technologies that both maintain present eco-stability and future natural resources.
For mankind to continue existing in a balanced state of equilibrium with the planet, social policies, manufacturing and building specifications, and technologies must be invented and provided to the culture.
Juxtaposed to these goals of sustainable practices is the very human desire and objective to create more wealth by creating an environmental degradation and over consumption of natural resources. Our world’s daily race toward consuming and using combined with population growth and strong environmental changes present challenges to manufacturers of HVAC products and organizations that govern the installation, use, and repair of HVAC technologies.
UN General Assembly
194 countries got together on September 25, 2015 and adopted the 2030 Development Agenda entitled Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. After the adoption of this document, the United Nations Development Group began trying to get this information out to the world through a project called Project Everyone. The 2030 Development Agenda contains 92 paragraphs and centralizes around 17 primary objectives.
Our concern, as it relates to sustainable HVAC technologies, is Goal #9 entitled Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. The purpose of this goal is to encourage HVAC governing organizations and those persons engaged in HVAC installation and maintenance to create resilient infrastructures that create sustainable installation and maintenance procedures and promote inclusive and sustainable manufacturing processes. This goal also challenges laboratories and research organizations related to HVAC to arrive at innovative solutions in both mechanical and electrical procedures, practices, and policies.
HVAC Design Analysis
An HVAC engineer, in conjunction with contractors, owners, and other players is going to be the person who designs the HVAC system for your home or business. A primary goal of HVAC design is to make use of data surrounding standards, performance, cost, feasibility, and inline with the national and international goal of sustainable development.
These decision makers make use of a variety of mechanical, architectural, and electrical technologies that make a dwelling or building more in compliance with current socio-political guidelines and manufacturing guidance. Various kinds of computer softwares and applications are called into play to cause a congruence between the actual building structure and the HVAC system that has to be installed.
Sustainability standards reward systems that outperform older and more conventional systems. A process must take place that analyzes the architectural structure and the most advanced systems available to be installed. Steady state efficiency ratings are called into play where the complexity of the home or building is evaluated to determine the most beneficial use of the space.
Sustainable practice design strategies are not implemented within a vacuum and are thought of as being interactive and systemic in their purposes. The goals of sustainable practices centralize around saving money and natural resources. The reduction of consumption benefits the present generation and those to come.
Energy modeling or building energy simulation is a virtual or computerized model of a building or home that focuses on energy consumption, utility bills and life cycle costs of various energy related items such as HVAC, electrical usage, and the generation of heat.
Hourly Analysis Program
There are tests, evaluations, assessments, and softwares to implement all of these tests in the field of HVAC sustainable design. The Carrier Corporation has developed the Hourly Analysis Program(HAP) which is a software for HVAC engineers, building contractors and others involved in the design of structures. It is a useful tool in determining the design and size needed for the structure. This product may be found here: http://www.carrier.com/commercial/en/us/software/hvac-system-design/hourly-analysis-program/
IES Virtual Environment
Another software used is IES Virtual Environment, which comes to us from the minds at Integrated Environmental Solutions. They may be found by navigating to https://www.iesve.com. Their latest version of their virtual environment software has several components for an HVAC designer wishing to implement sustainable practices. It uses computer modeling to implement custom modules used to address various building and home performance workflows. This tool assists HVAC designers in implementing sustainable methods and design models for building and installation projects.
The IES Virtual Environment consists of 16 separate evaluation areas. Apache HVAC System Loads and Sizing Report Generator, HVAC Methodology, Space Types, HVAC Zones, Zone Airflow Distribution Table, Additional HVAC Updates, Parallel Simulation Manager, Interoperability Navigator, Python Scripting, Hone Tool, Parametric Tool, Elements Tool, Energy Sources and Meters, Geometric PV Panels and Parabolic Solar Collectors, Dynamic Day Lighting, and Additional Enhancements.
The US Department of Energy has entered a product into the domain of energy assessment called the REScheck. This software is designed to show a structure’s adherence to and compliance with the standards as set forth by the Council of American Building Officials(CABO), the Model Energy Code(MEC), the International Code Council(ICC) and the International Energy Conservation Code(IECC). This product may be found here: https://www.energycodes.gov/rescheck
The goals of those who support the idea of sustainability are expressed in the day to day workings of HVAC organizations and small businesses across the nation. Softwares, educational programs, manufacturing designs, and local installation methods are all attempting to bring the highest energy savings along with the most efficient application required for the home, office, or building being assessed for its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning requirements.